Students conduct measurements for a public parklet design.
December 13, 2022
Expanding public parklets to improve business in Kailua Town and investigating the reentry of Indigenous wāhine (women) from incarceration were two of the featured projects at the Fall 2022 Undergraduate Showcase, hosted by the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Honors Program and Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). Approximately 50 students presented at the on-campus academic conference that highlighted undergraduate research and creative work at UH Mānoa.
November 29, 2022
Students from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Academy for Creative Media (ACM) in the College of Arts, Languages and Letters are walking away from the 42nd annual Hawaiʻi International Film Festival (HIFF) with invaluable lessons. From presenting their filmmaking chops to working behind the scenes at HIFF, ACM students gained priceless experiences at the world-renowned film festival this November. HIFF selected six ACM UH Mānoa student shorts to showcase in HIFF’s University Shorts program which included animation, drama and even a musical. Participating students included two UROP funded students, Justin Ocampo and Justin Pascua.
Diego Chavez poses for a photo with David and Roselyn Yun, sponsors of the $1,000 Most Promising Award.
November 21, 2022
Entrepreneurship major and UROP funded student, Diego Chavez, is the founder of Gecko Plastics, a company that uses recycled plastics to produce fin keys for surfboards. His five-minute presentation impressed the judging panel and won him the $1,000 Most Promising Award, from the UH Breakthrough Innovation Challenge. The company was one of eight finalists that received up to $1,000 in funding to launch their inventions. The surfer from Guatemala has big dreams of removing plastics from Earth’s coastlines and recycling the materials into other products.
UHM student researcher Joseph Caldwell
November 15, 2022
The Innovation and Impact Showcase (IIS) initiative, started in 2021, provides a platform to celebrate UH Mānoa faculty members’ innovative and high-impact teaching practices. Out of 55 nominations, 10 showcase applications rose to the top that demonstrated “skillful integration of innovative techniques/approaches to systematically engage students in deep learning and application of knowledge and skills,” practices deemed by the peer reviewers as representing a new teaching paradigm, a key criterion for the selected showcases. Among the award winners included Undergraduate Research Opportunities Council (UROC) member Aaron Ohta, as well as previous UROP mentors Rebecca Chong, Scott Lozanoff, Brandy McDougall, and Brett Oppegaard.
Valdez and Marabella testing water quality in the lab.
November 14, 2022
Oʻahu has the lowest population of ʻopihi, endemic intertidal limpets, across the Hawaiian Islands. To help rebuild the population of this Hawaiian delicacy, two former UROP funded students, now graduate students, Angelica Valdez and Mitch Marabella, are attempting to spawn and rear ʻopihi to adulthood in their lab on campus. Valdez and Marabella began their work with limpets as UROP funded undergraduate students mentored by Assistant Professor, Dr. Jon-Paul Bingham.
Sofia Suesue filtering water in the lab.
October 27, 2022
After joining the GES bachelor’s degree program in the Department of Oceanography, UROP funded student Sofia Suesue focused her senior thesis research on the potential impacts of pollutants—including caffeine, the herbicide glyphosate and the broad-spectrum antibiotic sulfamethoxazole which is used to treat infections—on microbial communities in stream and coastal environments. She was guided by (SOEST) mentors Henrietta Dulai, Earth sciences professor, and Craig Nelson, associate researcher in the Department of Oceanography and Hawaiʻi Sea Grant and Undergraduate Research Opportunities Council (UROC) member.
From left: Jacob Vasquez and Godwin Severa in front of Vasquez’s award-winning poster.
October 19, 2022
UROP funded student, Jacob Vasquez’s work to improve the efficiency of fuel-cell technology was awarded first place in the student poster presentation session at the 13th World Filtration Congress in October. The honor came with a scholarship from the American Filtration Society.
September 22, 2022
UROP funded student Joseph Caldwell and Associate Professor Patricia Couvillon’s research suggests honeybees may have problem-solving skills previously only thought to be found in mammals and primates. Caldwell’s project challenged the bees’ ability to distinguish between patterns and form an abstract concept called “oddity,” with a majority of bees successfully completing the tasks.
October 4, 2022
Cheehyung Harrison Kim, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Department of History professor and Undergraduate Research Opportunities Council (UROC) member, earned a Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad Fellowship that will cover travel, housing and other research-related expenses. Kim’s project will focus on the history of architecture and urbanization of North Korea from after the Korean War in the early 1950s to the 1980s.
September 30, 2022
“Almost all of Hawaiʻi’s drinking water is sourced from groundwater, so it’s extremely important to me to maintain its quality for future generations,” said UROP funded University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa undergraduate student Brandon Dela Cruz when asked what his plans are for the future. Dela Cruz’s focus on preserving this precious natural resource has been a touchstone in his academic journey through the Global Environmental Sciences (GES) degree program in UH Mānoa’s School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST).
August 26, 2022
A UROP funded University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa undergraduate’s research project could eventually lead to better environmental contamination detection. Earth sciences major Haley Currier was awarded funding from UROP to support her project that will test two laser systems’ ability to detect physiological changes in Azolla, a type of waterfern, caused by lead contamination and determine how these systems can be further used.
August 25, 2022
President Joe Biden announced his intention to appoint University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Professor, and former Undergraduate Research Opportunities Council (UROC) member, Miriam T. Stark to serve in one of the three archaeologist positions on the 11-member U.S. Cultural Property Advisory Committee in the U.S. Department of State.
August 9, 2022
University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s excellence in the field of botany was showcased nationally at the Botanical Society of America (BSA) 2022 annual conference in Anchorage, Alaska, July 24–28. Ten UH Mānoa faculty members, post-doctoral researchers, graduate and undergraduate students from the School of Life Sciences delivered talks, and organized workshops and symposia, both virtually and in person. Those in attendance included UROC member and UROP mentor Kasey Barton, UROP mentors Karolina Heyduk and Christopher Muir, as well as UROP Project funding recipient McKenna Bonn-Savage.
July 29, 2022
Exploring the health benefits of the tasty side dish kimchi and discovering the intellectual abilities of honeybees were just two of the more than 70 projects showcased at the 2022 Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) Symposium on July 29. Hosted annually by UROP, the nine-week University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa summer research and creative work experience culminated with student presentations in a hybrid format, including in-person poster presentations for the first time since 2019 and hybrid oral presentations for the first time ever.
July 12, 2022
Both the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa men’s and women’s tennis teams were named Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-Academic Teams while a combined 13 student-athletes earned scholar-athletes honors for 2022, including current UROP funding recipient Madison Kim.
July 6, 2022
This past April, former UROP funding recipient Kalilinoe Detwiler, as well as three other UH Mānoa students Kristina Togafau, Arielle Lowe and Haʻani San Nicholas, were selected to participate in an inaugural Indigenous poetry cohort in Washington D.C. Hosted by national poetry organization, Indigenous Nations Poets, also known as In-Na-Po. The five-day retreat featured an array of writing workshops led by Indigenous authors and U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo at the Library of Congress. The national event is part of an ongoing movement to mentor and nurture the growth of emerging poets of Indigenous descent.
July 5, 2022
Deborah Mattheus, Undergraduate Research Opportunities Council (UROC) member and Associate Professor from the Nancy Atmospera-Walch School of Nursing (NAWSON), has developed an oral health toolkit to teach nurses, doctors and healthcare students how to effectively integrate oral health into their practice. This project is a collaboration between the Hawaiʻi State Department of Health (HIDOH) Family Health Services Division and NAWSON.
June 24, 2022
To understand how and why the most violent rainstorms in the world occur, an international team of experts, including University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa atmospheric scientists Yi-Leng Chen and UROP mentor Alison Nugent, along with former UROP funding recipient Katie Ackerman, are spending the summer identifying the key physical processes and environmental ingredients that cause high-intensity, long-duration rain events in parts of Taiwan and Japan. Their goal is to improve models for forecasters and eventually save lives.
Uchimura’s sketch for his musical project
June 6, 2022
UROP Yamamaura Scholar and classics major Mac Uchimura, is one of two recipients in the nation to receive the coveted Society for Classics Studies‘ Frank M. Snowden Undergraduate Scholarship, geared toward historically underrepresented groups across North America. Uchimura will use the award to complete a Latin intensive course this summer while also composing a musical based off of the Latin epic poem, Statius’ Thebaid, with his UROP funding.
May 3, 2022
The 2022 Spring Undergraduate Showcase was hosted virtually by the Honors Program and the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program on April 29. Nearly 100 undergraduate research and creative work projects were on display. Highlights include the visitor impact on Hanauma Bay’s coral reef and how geographic locations affected students’ college experience.
A former UROP funding recipient has been selected as one of 58 exceptional college students across the U.S. to be named a 2022 Truman Scholar by the Truman Foundation. Jessica Lau, a double major in psychology and human development and family studies with minors in peace studies and communicology, is a recipient of the highly-competitive Truman Scholarship, the premier graduate scholarship for aspiring public service leaders in the United States.
December 17, 2021
Kahealani Acosta, a past UROP funding recipient, is featured in UH Mānoa’s “Finding Our Kuleana” campaign. In this campaign, Acosta shares her personal narrative of purpose and sense of responsibility as a Native Hawaiian student. Acosta’s UROP project examined the effects of nutrient deficiencies in the Hawaiian breadfruit (‘ulu), wherein she deprived the breadfruit of a single nutrient at a time and analyzed the resulting growth. She continues her study of ‘ulu as a food source as she pursues a graduate degree in Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences from the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR).
December 6, 2021
The Nancy Atmospera-Walch School of Nursing has named Undergraduate Research Opportunities Council (UROC) member and Associate Professor Deborah Mattheus as the inaugural Nancy Atmospera-Walch Professor in School Health. As an inspirational leader committed to the efforts of the Hawai‘i Keiki: Health & Ready to Learn Program (HK), Mattheus is continuously engaging in research projects that address the vulnerability of children, with a focus on oral health and increased access to health services.
December 14, 2021
A featured project at the Fall 2021 Undergraduate Showcase was presented by senior undergraduate UROP recipients Justin Yip and Deylen Nekoba, both mechanical engineering majors. This project evaluates the importance and revitalization of freeze desalination as the new process to freeze and rinse seawater to yield freshwater. This emerging method will reduce the large amounts of energy used in conventional ways such as boiling water for safe drinking. Through this project, Yip and Nekoba hope that others can consider the importance of water conservation and the constant need for fresh drinking water.
December 10, 2021
Senior undergraduate UROP recipient Lauryn Liao, a molecular biosciences and biotechnology major, earns the Douglas S. Yamamura Scholarship for her vital research on melanoma at the UH Cancer Center. Liao’s project aims to identify how a protein (phosphoprotein enriched in astrocytes) contributes to melanoma cancer cell survival and proliferation. This scholarship is awarded to outstanding undergraduate students enrolled in any field of study who are involved in research and creative work initiatives.
November 11, 2021
Malia Adams makes her filmmaker debut at the 41st Hawaii International Film Festive (HIFF) with the production of “I Will Be Your Breath”, a creative short film inspired by Adams’ own family. The personal film is about a young Hawaiian woman named Kamahina and her journey as she learned about her great-grandmother’s experience as a Hawaiian woman in the early 1900s. Through this film, Adams hopes to encourage the audience to be open with their past and to connect with their roots. Adams and her group member Mahina Smith produced the creative short film with UROP Project funding under the guidance of their faculty mentor, Lisette Flanary.
October 12, 2021
Undergraduate student John Fast received UROP funding for a research project that analyzed oxygen and hydrogen isotopes from five rainwater collection stations across the island of O’ahu. The purpose of the project was to create an annual database of isotopic rainfall composition that can be used to predict rainfall events and impact on the availability of drinking water.
August 4, 2021
At the 2021 Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) Symposium hosted by UROP, over 300 students, staff, faculty, and community members attended research and creative work presentations by 85 undergraduate students. Highlights include a first-ever documentary film on the music of Queen Lili‘uokalani and urban agriculture in Honolulu.
July 26, 2021
Undergraduate student Hershel Weiner, with funding from UROP, participated in calibrating sensor detectors on a balloon designed to fly approximately 24 miles above Antarctica in an effort to search for very rare cosmic antimatter.
June 30, 2021
Shelby Cerwonka and Jasmine Reighard, who graduated in spring 2021 from the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management, are the creators of an environmentally-friendly and sustainable roof design that combines natural moss with recycled fishing nets. The Leucobryum glaucum (pincushion moss) helps to decrease a house’s internal temperatures. Their project was created with the goal of tackling climate change at a household level.
June 13, 2021
With funding from the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), members of UH Parcel Service (UHPS) created a wireless prototype delivery vehicle capable of traveling up to four miles per hour, carrying a load of up to 300 pounds, traversing up inclines of 15 degrees (more than most wheelchair ramps) and delivering and receiving packages.
May 28, 2021
Brooke Fisher, an undergraduate student in the Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) program, produced a film investigating the deeply-rooted issue of homelessness in Hawai’i. Her 9-minute documentary, Bridging the Gap, was funded by a UROP award. Combined with classroom knowledge, this hands-on experience helped her address topics like the cause and effects of a challenging upbringing.
March 4, 2021
The Student Opportunity Center (SOC) database is a one-stop-shop for students who are interested in getting involved in research and creative work opportunities under faculty mentors. Undergraduate students Jessica Lau and Vanessa Liang saw an opportunity to work under Assistant Professor David Royer and together, they learned the skills to help educators work with students who have challenging behaviors through Project KUALIMA.
February 23, 2021
The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) supports undergraduate students pursuing faculty-mentored research and creative work. Undergraduate students Bryce Dolph and Iroha Mochida demonstrated diverse academic goals as they dive into topics such as understanding homelessness in Hawai’i and exploring the effects of online media in Shimauta folk music.
University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Fall 2020 Undergraduate Showcase
December 14, 2020
The Fall 2020 Undergraduate Showcase was hosted virtually by the Honors Program and the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). This semester’s featured undergraduate projects include drone technologies, directing a film from a cultural perspective, and the creation of a custom solar water heater.
SOEST undergraduate leads study on food webs in ocean’s deepest trenches
September 28, 2020
Andrew Tokuda, a senior in SOEST’s Global Environmental Sciences program, along with his co-authors, has recently published a scientific study regarding the food webs in the Mariana and Kermadec ocean trenches. With partial support from UH Mānoa’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, they were able to collect organisms in each trench and assess the nutrients flow in the food web.
Virtual symposium draws record number of participants
August 7, 2020
Nearly 100 University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa undergraduate students who conducted faculty-mentored research and creative work in various disciplines showcased their projects at the 2020 Summer Undergraduate Research Experience Symposium.
Amid COVID-19, students who received funding from UROP continued to develop plans and changes to allow them to carry forward with their research while still following state and university policies regarding COVID-19.
The Faculty Award for Excellence in Mentoring Undergraduate Research and Creative Work was created in 2020 by the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program. Congratulations to our inaugural awardees Brittany Biggs, assistant professor in the Academy for Creative Media, and Pratibha Nerurkar, associate professor in the Department of Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering.
The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program offers financial and programmatic support to all undergraduate students in all disciplines to engage in faculty-mentored research and creative work.
A current and a recent graduate of University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa College of Engineering, both previously funded by the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, have each been awarded a $135,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship. They are two out of only 59 electrical engineering students selected nationwide.UHM
One-stop shop for UH Manoa undergraduate research opportunities
September 16, 2019
A new UROP resource is the Student Opportunity Center (SOC), a searchable database with thousands of online opportunity listings: research and creative work positions, internships, co-ops, conferences and more. Access is open to all undergraduate students, faculty and staff.UHM
Undergraduate students receive valuable hands-on experience in community engagement at the Lyon Arboretum as part of UROP’s Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE).
Team Hōkūlele’s 11.5-foot rocket named Kahekili is scheduled to launch and deploy two experimental payloads they built for the Spaceport American Cup. The project has received $10,000 in funding from the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program which allowed the team to cover the cost of the rocket and some travel expenses.
UH students successfully test Box Farm
June 3, 2019
Four UHM senior mechanical engineering students funded by the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program have designed, developed, and tested a Box Farm that is an automated hydroponic growing system designed to sustain life on the moon and Mars.
Soldiering on in the pursuit of excellence
November 5, 2018
Andrew Kecskes Tokuda is a junior majoring in Global Environmental Science and is aspiring to become an officer in the U.S. Army and a scientist specializing in fisheries studies. With a great passion to study the food availability in the hadopelagic zone and fisheries studies, Tokuda’s career goal is to serve in a federal science agency.
Students working in the Prisic lab have received support from the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program to study organisms that may lead to more effective treatments for tuberculosis.
The Undergraduate Showcase of Research and Creative Work held on May 5th, 2017 was supported by the Honors Program and the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program. The showcase represented more than 75 presentations and posters by 100 undergraduate students.
Alex Lee discover and characterize the second species in the genus Piscirickettsia. To complete the genome sequence of the new species, Lee was awarded $5,000 from the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program.
Undergraduate journal Mānoa Horizons publishes first issue
November 1, 2016
A new peer-reviewed academic journal will feature high quality creativity, innovation, and research conducted and synthesized by undergraduate students at UHM. Mānoa Horizons represents a partnership among the UHM’s Honors Program, Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program and the honors faculty.
UHM’s Hannah Azouz and Trista McKenzie advance knowledge on radioactivity in soil and locally-caught fish. Both students were able to conduct their research by funding from the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) at UHM.
October 4, 2016
Makana Silva, an undergraduate student working with UHM Assistant Professor Sarah Post, will be traveling to the annual Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) conference. There, he will present the results from the research collaboration with funding granted from the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program at UHM.
UHM graduate Alexandra McDougle selected as Luce Scholar
February 18, 2016
Alexandra McDougle is the first Luce Scholar to be nominated by UHM and is the first selectee in the program’s history with a physical anthropology background. McDougle’s was also supported by the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) in relation to her fieldwork on the study of skulls of juvenile skeletons in the Ifugao region.
Students interested in research for the glory of their own research project can seek the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) for funding assistance. Students who have found a faculty mentor and established a project proposal can apply for the UROP program for further assistance regarding research funds, conference attendance, publication and more.
Uncovering a hidden shark heiau in Pelekane Bay
July 11, 2014
Matadobra’s research focused on finding out what he anomalies lied around the area of the submerged site by using a sub-bottom profiler device. Through the support from the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), Matadobra was able to create a layout that shows the approximate location of the anomalies and where the ancient site of the Hawaiian shark heiau was located.
The Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program allowed Matthew to begin creating a sensitive survey tool that could be given to the local youth regarding smoking rates amongst Filipina girls.